Ask a Question forum: What next with this asparagus?

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Name: Terri Osipov
Rome, Georgia (Zone 7b)
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IJsbrandtGA
Sep 2, 2016 1:50 PM CST
I started 12 asparagus shoots 2 years ago and this is what I have left. There are two bunches that have several stems of different diameters. Do I separate them or do I cut them off now? If so at what level? I dont know if I am supposed to leave the fern like foliage through the winter or if I should pick the red seed pods that are growing on them now. Thank you!
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Name: Daisy
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Sep 2, 2016 6:04 PM CST
Don't divide them. Asperagus take years to grow well - you are almost there. But well grown Patches are 20 or 30 years old. Leave the ferny stems until they turn completely yellow and then you can cut them off at ground level.

The little red seed pods are future plants waiting to happen. You can gather them and sprout them in pots or just push them down into the soil and wait.

Next spring, as the stems emerge, you can cut any that are fatter then a pencil - those are your asperagus spears. Cut them as close to the soil level as possible when they are 8 - 10 inches tall but remember, once the spears start to open, its too late so leave those. You can continue to harvest the spears until none of them are bigger than a pencil. Then just let everything grow until next fall when they turn yellow again.

If you want to plant more asperagus plants, start planning now for next spring.
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
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dyzzypyxxy
Sep 2, 2016 6:40 PM CST
I agree Only two clumps isn't going to give you much more than a serving or two for a good many years. Plant some more 2nd year roots if you can get them.

This fall after the ferns die down, they'll also benefit a lot from a nice thick mulch of compost and leaves. Do this every fall to keep the soil nice and friable for the new spears coming next spring.

Breaks my heart every time I think about the wonderful asparagus patch I had going at our house in Vancouver - it had just started to produce well when we up and moved away.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
[Last edited by dyzzypyxxy - Sep 2, 2016 8:15 PM (+)]
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Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
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Weedwhacker
Sep 2, 2016 8:12 PM CST
Where I am, my plants are usually still green when we are getting pretty close to having snow, so I wait as long as I can and then cut them off near the ground, and burn the tops. I don't like to leave them in the garden because I usually have some asparagus beetles and I don't want them to be overwintering in the garden.

I agree that a couple of clumps won't give you much more than a taste... you can buy more roots, or save those red berries and plant them; it takes about 3 years before you can start harvesting from seed-grown plants, but it's free and the time goes by a lot faster than you would think! Smiling
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Name: Terri Osipov
Rome, Georgia (Zone 7b)
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IJsbrandtGA
Sep 4, 2016 9:05 AM CST
Thank You! so much for the VERY helpful advice (as always). I have no problem with one serving as it represents success and is a blessing after waiting just 2 years. At my age time goes by so very quickly that I'm sure I will have plenty before long. @dyzzypyxxy I hate to hear about leaving your patch that almost seems sacrilegious! You poor dear, I hope you have been able to reestablish a new one? Group hug
"Speak to the Earth and it shall teach Thee" Job 12:8
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
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dyzzypyxxy
Sep 4, 2016 3:20 PM CST
No, unfortunately we've been living in Florida for 15 years now, and it just doesn't get cold enough for long enough down here in winter to give asparagus the dormancy it needs. I console myself with growing tomatoes, peppers and other delights all the way though winter here.

I hope you have lots more years of delicious fresh asparagus, and many more than one serving per year going forward.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill

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